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Skipping Cigars, Giving up Beer, No More Chili

Episode Card - An Exercise in Fatality

In “An Exercise in Fatality,” gymnasium chain magnate Milo Janus’ (Robert Conrad) business double-dealings are about to be exposed by a disgruntled franchisee! What’s his wisest course of action? Why, cancel the fellow’s contract with a metal pipe to the throat and make it look like a tragic gym accident! As Columbo tries to put it all together, you’ll be plunged into a world of vitamins, sweaty dudes, X-rated Italian horror films, soulless bureaucracy, and Jim Rockford’s ladyfriend in a bikini. Critic Phil Dyess-Nugent is here to spot Jon and RJ as they try to lift the heavy, heavy barbell of 70s murder show recapping.


  1. Greg Greg

    Terrible work. You guys weren’t clever, witty or insightful. Typical Gen X/Y sarcasm and refusal to suspend disbelief necessary to give this episode a fair shot. Please stop this podcast. I find it offensive.

    • You heard the man, RJ, we’ll have to stop recording the podcast. This is certainly an easier solution that this guy just not listening to it any more.

      • RJ RJ

        Also, I vaguely remember saying on the show that I really liked this episode.

        Also, I vaguely remember watching this episode and really liking this episode.

        • I suppose the rating I gave it of 9 out of ten really was an uncalled-for lambasting, now that I think of it.

  2. Chana Masaledar Chana Masaledar

    Well, I liked it. But I usually like this podcast.

    Phil Dyess-Nugent was great, too. Full disclosure: he’s a friend of mine. But I would have thought he was great regardless.

    You weren’t kidding about the depressing decor at the health spa. That was the 70s I remember: cheap wood paneling on the walls, and earth tones everywhere else. Murky browns and mottled greens, as if all the interior decoration for the whole decade was done by Swamp Thing.

  3. I’m with Greg! On behalf of all piss-pants babyman morons, I must insist that you stop making this podcast!

  4. Gaff in a Head Act Gaff in a Head Act

    I must defend this one as well; the hosts poke fun at parts of each episode because they sincerely enjoy the show as a whole, warts and all. I love Columbo, and can still laugh at some of the cheesier moments throughout the series – doesn’t mean I don’t still love the show. Keep up the good work guys!

    Also, it would be great if you could get the Scottish podcasters as guests – and I might suggest the episode ‘Murder With Too Many Notes’, as that episode features the eternally Scottish Billy Connelly!

    Thanks for an enjoyable podcast!

  5. rbonotto rbonotto

    I enjoyed this; thanks. When I was a kid my American grandmother used to watch this while chain-smoking and knitting. They were the only doilies you had to shake the ash out of.

  6. One of my favorite episodes and comes in very high on the rubric with the villain living at the beach and tons of Mrs. Columbo. You guys picked up on all the best stuff like Columbo versus the answering machine and the really excellent work by the two actresses.

    • Also: PHIL WAS AWESOME. Please have him back.

  7. Joe Joe

    This was one of your more enjoyable podcasts. Phil Dyess-Nugent was wonderful — esp. when talking about Bernard Kowalski. I agree with you about the caliber of the performances, but for me, the episode is ruined in the last 15 minutes by what must be the weakest gotcha ever. The biggest problem, which you’ll see if you watch the early part of the episode again, is that Phil Bruns was left-handed. So the whole shoelaces-tied-backward thing sort of falls apart.

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